Republicans wanted an election-season ethics case against Democratic powerhouse Rep. Charles Rangel of New York. And now, it looks like they have one.
A House ethics panel of four Democrats and four Republicans, who will determine Rangel's guilt or innocence on 13 ethics charges, held its organizational meeting Thursday. The message going forward, from the top Republican on the panel, was: Let the trial begin.
Rangel was "given the opportunity to negotiate a settlement during the investigation phase," Rep. Michael McCaul of Texas said. "We are now in the trial phase."
McCaul's strong comment was echoed by Rep. Jo Bonner, R-Ala., who was on a separate ethics panel that conducted the two-year investigation of Rangel and brought the charges.
"Mr. Rangel was given multiple opportunities to settle this matter. Instead, he chose to move forward to the public trial phase," he said.